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IIED's mission is to build a fairer, more sustainable world, using evidence, action and influence in partnership with others. We link local priorities to global challenges, and our 2019-2024 strategy details how we will Make Change Happen


United Kingdom


IIED's mission is to build a fairer, more sustainable world, using evidence, action and influence in partnership with others. We link local priorities to global challenges, and our 2019-2024 strategy details how we will Make Change Happen






21. Ripple effects and revolutions: women leaders in climate and biodiversity

In this episode, launched to coincide with International Women’s Day, an all-women panel share the transformative change driven by women as they take on leadership roles at every level – from remote rural villages to international conventions. Hosted by James Persad, director of IIED’s Communications group, this podcast features Ritu Bharadwaj, principal researcher in IIED’s Climate Change research group; Omaira Bolaños, director of the Latin America and Gender Justice programmes at Rights...


20. Can mitigation deliver better cities in the global South?

Our last episode of 2022 brings together experts from across the world to explore how far climate mitigation action can respond to pervasive urban poverty in the global South – seen in a lack of housing and basic services such as water, sanitation and energy – and contribute to more just and equitable cities. This special episode is hosted by Anna Walnycki, principal researcher in IIED’s Human Settlements research group. Alongside two IIED colleagues, principal researcher Aditya Bahadur and...


19. A spur to action – getting money to the local level for nature and climate

At COP26, political leaders called for more action to address biodiversity loss and climate change together. In this episode of Make Change Happen, we discuss how this must be financed and the possible mechanisms for spurring actions on the ground. Hosted for the first time by James Persad, IIED’s new director of communications, this episode features Mandy Barnett from the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI), Moses Egaru of the International Union for Conservation of Nature...


18. Uncomfortable conversations? Confronting development’s White gaze

In this episode of Make Change Happen, we discuss racism and decolonisation in the development sector. Hosted by Liz Carlile, IIED’s outgoing director of communications, this episode features Natalie Lartey, IIED’s advocacy and engagement manager; Maryam Mohsin, head of media and communications at Bond; and Mpho Tapela, executive director of Youth Unlimited Network in Botswana. We explore how development organisations have responded to the Black Lives Matter movement, with a particular focus...


17. Making sustainable development a reality: movements that inspire change

As IIED celebrates its 50th birthday, this episode of Make Change Happen brings together four established members of the IIED family to reflect on key movements in the journey towards sustainable development. Host Liz Carlile, IIED's director of communications, is joined by ex-colleagues Steve Bass, now a consultant in sustainable development; Saleemul Huq, director of the International Centre for Climate Change and Development (ICCCAD); and former IIED director Camilla Toulmin, who is now a...


16. Shifting the power – climate justice means gender justice

To reflect on International Women’s Day, and the 2022 theme ‘Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow’, this episode of Make Change Happen discusses how gender equity and intersectionality approaches are central to climate justice, and that means putting people’s rights, lived experiences and priorities at the centre of every response. Heather McGray, director of the Climate Justice Resilience Fund, Vitumbiko Chinoko, project manager at the Open Forum on Agriculture and Technology in...


15. IIED at 50: reflecting on the past, looking to the future

In the year IIED celebrates 50 years of working for a fairer and more sustainable world, we invite two eminent former colleagues to look back at where we came from, how we have developed, and where we should be going. Achala Abeysinghe, Asia regional director for the Global Green Growth Institute and ex-IIED vice-president David Runnalls, a fellow with the International Institute for Sustainable Development in Canada, join host Liz Carlile for the discussion. Among the issues that arise are...


14. Walking the talk of climate ambition: why that walk needs nature too

Experts discuss the connections between the climate emergency, loss of biodiversity and rising inequalities, and why it is important to include nature in Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to address these crises globally. The latest episode of the Make Change Happen podcast focuses on why and how developing countries are incorporating nature-based solutions in their NDCs to increase and deliver their climate ambitions. Guests include Nathalie Seddon, professor of biodiversity and...


13. Getting climate resilience right: the case for backing smallholder organisations

Forest and farm smallholders are fighting for their livelihoods and food security. New research shows producers’ practical measures for climate resilience have impact, but barriers remain to scaling the work up and out. In this ‘super year’ of climate and nature, the latest episode of the Make Change Happen podcast hosts a discussion on what support smallholders need, and who should provide it. Guests include Ugandan young agriprenuer Elizabeth Nsimadala, IIED Climate Change director Clare...


12. Wanted: an inclusive vision of urban recovery from COVID-19

The urban dimensions of COVID-19 have been largely ignored and yet the economic impacts of the pandemic are especially severe in cities and towns in the global South, where low-income residents have been disproportionately affected. In this episode of Make Change Happen, expert practitioners discuss the effects of the pandemic in urban areas, and they share a range of inclusive, locally led responses from the global South.


11. Indigenous knowledge, people and nature – all crucial to Kunming

Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities have been the guardians of biodiversity for thousands of years. As a result, today, they conserve the world’s richest biodiversity on their lands and territories. In this Make Change Happen episode we learn about the term biocultural heritage, which comes from the lived experience of Indigenous Peoples, and is critical to the success of the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework up for negotiation in Kunming later this year. Hosted by Liz Carlile,...


10. Loss and damage – recognising the costs of climate change

Climate change has devastating impacts on our planet and people. Some impacts are very noticeable, but many go unmentioned. In this episode of Make Change Happen, we acknowledge the untold loss and damage from climate change having devastating effects on culture and communities. Hosted by Liz Carlile, this edition’s podcast features IIED’s senior associate director of the International Centre for Climate Change and Development (ICCCAD) in Bangladesh Saleem Huq, senior researcher in IIED’s...


9. No time to lose – collective action for our common future

2020 set us back in achieving environment and development progress, leaving an unprecedented challenge ahead. But recovery is possible if we learn from last year and move ahead quickly. In the first ‘Make Change Happen’ episode of 2021, we learn that early action, youth participation and collaborative policymaking are pivotal to making change happen and a better future for us all. Hosted by Liz Carlile, this episode’s conversation features IIED director Andrew Norton; Ineza Umehoza Grace,...


8. Debt swaps for climate and nature: innovation for resilience

In the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, concerns over debt owed by developing nations are increasing substantially. The burden of developing country debt stands at eight trillion US dollars, so action on debt relief is now more pressing than ever. Debt swaps for climate and nature could help relieve debt and offer great gains for the wellbeing of the planet. But they are a controversial idea. In this episode of ‘Make Change Happen’, guests discuss the challenges and potential of debt...


7. Shared vulnerabilities? Connecting climate and health in cities

Cities and towns are hugely impacted by both climate change and public health crises. This combined (and intertwined) threat weighs heaviest on the poorest urban communities. Health and climate specialists are already working hard on reducing urban risk and increasing resilience, but what has COVID-19 shown us about how these experts could learn from each other, and how they could work better with knowledgeable local actors? Hosted by Anna Walnycki, senior researcher in the Human Settlements...


6. Reimagining refugee futures: cities, not camps?

Of the approximately 71 million people displaced by conflict and violence worldwide, nearly 26 million are considered refugees. But are more secure futures hindered by a collective failure to see refugees as diverse people, with skills to offer, and preferences about where they call home? For World Refugee Day, we discuss new IIED research comparing refugees’ experiences of life in urban areas to that in camps, examining Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Jordan and Kenya. And we hear about an energy...


5 What makes a sustainable diet? And who decides?

Globally, we are producing more food than ever. But for many of the world’s poorer citizens, secure access to safe food is becoming less certain. To counter this, an advocacy programme called Sustainable Diets for All is asking: how can we create food systems that are fairer, healthier and more sustainable? Over the last four years, Dutch NGO Hivos and IIED have worked with local organisations in Uganda, Bolivia, Indonesia, Zambia and Kenya to find out how we can make sustainable diets –...


4 The trouble with growth

Growth is usually measured by gross domestic product (GDP). But while this can indicate the health of other factors – such as jobs, livelihoods and even poverty reduction – it paints a limited picture. GDP does not capture inequality, despite the effect this has on wellbeing. It excludes the environment and the care economy – meaning a huge amount of work done by women literally doesn’t count. GDP also largely overlooks greenhouse gas emissions, failing to count the cost to vulnerable...


3 Seizing opportunities for urban change

A quarter of the world’s urban population live in informal settlements, mostly in the global South. In advance of the 2020 World Urban Forum in February 2020, this episode looks at how IIED’s work with marginalised urban communities developed, and what opportunities exist now for building more inclusive cities. To discuss these and other related issues, in this podcast our director of communications, Liz Carlile, talks with two urban experts, David Satterthwaite and Anna Walnycki. Both...


2 Delivering energy access for all

Access to electricity in the poorest countries has begun to accelerate, energy efficiency continues to improve, and renewable energy is making gains in the electricity sector. Despite this progress, around a billion people remain without access to electricity while some 3 billion are without access to clean cooking fuels and technologies. Off-grid and mini-grid solutions can be designed to provide affordable electricity to poor communities in hard-to-reach areas, but Governments hoping to...